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Results and Commentary: 2004 Women's Commentary

Lornah Kiplagat Preps for NYC with convincing win

See 2004 Results - Click Here In the women’s race, champion Lornah Kiplagat, 30, of The Netherlands, won in a wire-to-wire run in a time of 1:12:05. Russians Galina Alexandrova, 28, and Valentina Yegorova, 40, placed second (1:13:54) and third (1:15:55), respectively.

From the lead press truck, Kiplagat was the only woman in sight with a lead of more than 100 meters over the rest of the field … and that was with a deep international field and by the end of the first mile! She ran just under course record pace (2003; Marie Davenport, 28, Ireland, 1:10:57) through two miles, but by three miles she had backed off the pace slightly. The fifth place finisher at 10,000 meters at this summer’s Olympic Games in Athens, however, decided to make her tune-up prior to next month’s New York City Marathon a worthwhile one, as she ran alone or with some of the race’s top men throughout the race’s first half. By the entrance to the zoo, Kiplagat’s lead over Alexandrova was one minute, 50 seconds, and Zinaida Semenova, also of Russia, 42, ran in third, approximately two minutes behind Kiplagat.

Kiplagat, who changed her citizenship from Kenya to The Netherlands in 2003, was in 15th place overall (that is, among the combined men’s and women’s field) leaving the zoo, and even moved to as high as 14th place, running with Bob Busquaert and Terry Shea, both of the Hanson’s-Brooks Distance Project, of Michigan.

Kiplagat held her course record pace through the ninth mile [Note: Davenport also ran alone for the entire race and won the race from the front in 2003], but slowed down over the final four miles. She began to tire in the tenth mile, working hard but not laboring. Her thirteenth and final mile was her slowest of the day (6:06 split), indicating that she got her workout in early. Her fastest mile, for the record, was from seven to eight, in which she ran 5:01.

Yegorova, who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and who followed up that effort with a silver medal marathon performance at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, is now 40-years of age. As such, she claimed the check for first place in the masters, division, as well as third place overall.

Laurie Stephens, 20, of Wenham, Mass. also defended her women’s title in the push rim wheelchair division, with her 1:09:44 course record performance, improving upon her time of 1:10:43 in the 2003 race

Quick Quotes

Lornah Kiplagat (NED), 1st Place
“This was not about the time, but I feel good, happy about the outcome.”
“This was good for my preparation (for the New York City Marathon). I ran as if it was a marathon pace because I will run in four weeks.”
“I had some problem with my right calf. I took some ice after the race.”

Galina Alexandrova (RUS), 2nd Place
“It was a very interesting course; I liked it.”
“It was a good pace, but not too challenging. I felt very strong and I was in good shape.”
“We (she and 3rd place finisher, Valentina Yegorova) would have liked to have been closer, but [Lornah] was very strong.”

Valentina Yegorova (RUS), 3rd Place
“All athletes try to win, then for their personal best, but the Kenyans run very fast.”
“It was a good challenge, a good race for me.”
“I am not running in New York - it is too close [to today’s race]. I will run my next race in November.”

B.A.A. Moment 8

1996 - Centennial Boston Marathon

The historic centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 was monumental for many reasons. It was the not only the first time that the ChampionChip timing and scoring device was used in a major US Marathon, but it was the largest running event ever held at the time. 

The starting field of 38,708 stood for more than seven years as the largest in the history of the sport. Included among the finishers were 16 Boston champions.